JANUARY 31st 2017
We started the first step of the process of creating our film: coming up with some initial ideas. We talked about our first ideas for our FMP in pairs and shared them with the groups. It’s important to keep my mind open to new ideas and to keep developing them. This is because there’s always problems within film ideas and they constantly develop to make them better. I know I want to do something surrounding female equality, or the movement the goes with it.
My First Idea
I would go with the theme identity. My starting idea is to have a gang of girls that are ‘extreme’ feminists. They go around an art gallery destroying art work as they believe it’s sexist. One girl doesn’t want to be there, and by the end of the film she stands up to the group leader and tells her what they are doing is wrong. The main message of the film is that feminism isn’t about destroying what’s happened or judging men or females, it’s about doing things for yourself not other people. Eg, modelling for pictures because you’re confident in yourself, not doing it for other people.
People said it was an original and cleaver way of portraying the story. The feedback I had was that I would need to spend a lot of time researching and creating the art work/scene to pull off the film. I also need to be careful about not offending people or upsetting them.
Another idea I had was making a music video type film to classical music, of an old lady looking back on her life through different ages. The main message of the film is showing who she was and how lonely she is now.
MARCH 9TH 2017
https://vimeo.com/207267196 (password: dandelion)
We created a film with the drama students about homelessness and leaving home, which a big issue with people our age. Creating the film was an interesting experience because I was director so I was in charge of a lot of people and making sure everything got done. I am proud of the finished film, although I know there’s things that could’ve been changed. I think for how long we had to do it, it was a really good and productive film. It’s important to look back at what you would change in a film, as it makes the next one better by changing the mistakes.
Something that I would’ve done differently is tried to of organised the shot list more. We didn’t make on, but we had a general idea in our heads. I think if we made a shot list and story board, we would’ve been able to keep to schedule more and make the shots better and use more cinematography. Having strong cinematography is important because it gives a more pleasing look, and audiences respond better to films that give an aethsteic and clean look.
Something else I would’ve done differently is developing the narrative more. This links into the cinematography because visual story telling is very important within filmmaking. This article from DSLRguide called ‘VISUAL STORYTELLING IN FILMMAKING’, says “It’s one thing for a character to say exactly how they are feeling, but if can get them to show how they’re feeling then that frees up the dialog for other uses. How often to we mean exactly what we say?”(http://dslrguide.tv/visual-storytelling/). I completely agree with this quote as I think that within a character, there’s always a hidden story, like with real people. With our film, all the narrative was portrayed by the characters. We didn’t expand on the characters or the story, therefor the film becomes shallow and too simple. Next time, I need to make sure I expand on the characters and story like I did last year for my FMP. I looked into the costumes so I could expand on the characters (1st year FMP – Character Design), which gave my final film more depth and helped the actors get into the characters.
Furthermore, I think I should’ve been more authoritative. As a director, you should have the final say and be making the decisions. I think that in this project, I found it hard to be authoritative because I didn’t know the actors and I think I let that get in the way of making decisions. It’s important for the director to be authoritative because someone needs to be in control and a leader. If there isn’t someone doing this, nothing will get done. The director makes sure the story is portrayed effectively and the crew and cast is working in unison. I found it difficult working with some of the crew because they didn’t take it seriously. I think next time if this happens, I need to take charge and talk to them and make sure they take it seriously as it would’ve made the whole production more productive and more professional.
14th March 2017
How to think of ideas
Today we discussed how we come up with ideas and develop them. This is an important thing to think about because our FMP this year is all about developing ideas to present the best of what we can do.
We were asked some questions that would help us discuss how to think of new ideas:
Are all humans able to come up with ideas or is it something we can/need to learn?
I think that all humans can create ideas, but it’s more about having the inspiration to have them regularly and make them more advanced.
What stops your or gets on the way of coming up with ideas?
I think that my main problem is confidence. Not having confidence in your ideas can put you off or stop you from developing them. Because a random daydream could actually be a good idea and be developed into a strong film. I also find pressure makes it difficult for me to come up with new ideas. When I have to think of something on the spot I find it difficult, which also links into lack of confidence.
What can we do to help ourselves come up with ideas?
To help me be more confident and come up with ideas, I can surround myself with positivity and people who have confidence in me. Seeing my worth and the significance of my ideas through other people will make me feel more confident in myself. Furthermore, I should talk to people about my ideas. Getting feedback and opinions without judgement on them will help me develop them further and make them stronger.
I think something else I need to do as have more down time to myself. Spending time just thinking would be good for me as I constantly make myself busy. For example, going for a run or walk without my phone would help me think without distraction.
Can you talk about/or provide links to some useful tools for generating ideas?
This website gives idea generation techniques: https://www.cleverism.com/18-best-idea-generation-techniques/. This is useful as it lists lots of ways I can create new ideas and help me develop them. It also suggests ways to become a more creative person.
16th March 2017
I decided to look further into my chosen theme, to start generating ideas and topics I would like to talk about. I did this by creating a mind map and writing topics that link to identity. I asked journalistic questions to help me keep thinking of ideas.
I need to research the highlighted points to help me develop the ideas further.
When I think about what’s been important to me this year and what I’ve been thinking a lot about with in terms of my identity, is feminism and women’s rights. I’ve always been surrounded by very important and strong women, but I think that this year I’ve only started to fight for my rights and others as a female. I would really like to look into what makes a female power film, as it does really interest me. However, for the last unit I looked into feminist films, so I don’t want to go over and over the same research I did before. So I would want to do a different angle on it.
Coming of Age
I could bring the idea of ‘coming of age’ into the feminist angle. Coming of age films are something that really interest me, so bringing the 2 together would be a good idea. I will research separately and see what I find.
To help me develop my ideas further, I will research films and clips to inspire me.
COMING OF AGE FILMS
To start with, i decided to make a Pinterest board of ‘Coming of Age‘ films. I thought this would give me some inspiration and a starting point for research. For looking at film clips, I looked at my favourite coming of age clips and films to help inspire me.
‘We Are The Best!” – 2014 Film
One of my all time favourite films is a coming of age film, trailer above, which was one of the first foreign films I saw in the cinema. It’s a Swedish film about 3 girls who are 13 and decide to form a punk band. The film follows there story of growing up and wanting to be adults. I think it sums up being 13 perfectly and really captures what it means to be young. I decided for my research to analyse one of the scenes from the film.
This is a clip from the film, where the 2 girls (Klara and Bobo) are trying to write a song for there punk band near the start of the film. The first think I really like about this scene is the colour palette. It’s warm colours that show comfort and happiness, which also symbolises safety within there room. Around the room adds to the coming of age film. The room has a mix of childhood and adult hood. As an audience, we firstly see the bookcase and the posters, which seem like a teenage room. But when we look closely, we see the toys on the bookcase, the posters and the bed sheets have a childish pattern and pictures. It shows that the girl is trying to grow up, but her childhood still lingers.
If we look at the content of the film, rather then the visuals, they also have the coming of age themes by making it relatable. Most people have had an embarrassing parent or member of the family, which they introduce in this scene. Klara’s dad walks in with a musical clarinet, which is embarrassing to her because she wants to seem punk or ‘hard.’ The part which makes makes this scene work so well as a coming of age film, is that you see her start to find her dad funny and laugh a long. This is important as it still shows the audience that she is still childish and she lets her guard down for a short moment which we don’t really see in the film.
Something else that shows the childish themes is the fact they are using pots from the kitchen as drums. Most children play pretend games and use household objects to recreate stories and make them more real. Something that children do a lot, is make things into instruments. This small detail shows that even though they say they are in a punk bad, its all really pretend.
SUBMARINE – Short film
This is a very effective coming of age short film. It’s about a young girl who escapes her boring life, through swimming and being under water.
The first thing that stands out in this film is the colour palate. It reminds me a lot of Wes Anderson’s style and the colours I looked at last year for my project surrounding his work, which inspired my film ‘Sunset Bound’. (Blog post can be found here.) They’ve chosen blues and yellows for the majority of the colours as they are contrasting colours which make them work together, which you can see on the colour wheel. However, they’ve also put the girl in red. Red is another colour that stands out from blue, as it contrasts with a lighter colour blue. If they used the orange and yellow it would be too similar, but the deep dead stands out with the lighter colours when she goes into the water.
The filmmakers also use the colours to visually show the girl uses water as escapism. The colours from in the water are light, which gives a positive and calming theme. When the girl goes under the water, the light and the colours gets dark. This is a visual metaphor that she has a boring and dull life out of the water.
Something else that works really well with this film is the sound effects. There is noise all the way through, but I think the effective but it the underwater noise at the end of the film when she gets out the pool. It symbolises that outside the pool, everything is unclear as if someone else was underwater. It shows that she feels more relaxed and calm underwater, as the rest of the world is just drowned out noise.
‘Seashells’ – Natalie Neal
This is a film made about a young girl on the point of teenage hood. This film also links into coming of age, but I think it’s more relevant for female identity. I really like this short film because I think it’s relatable to a lot of young girls, and females who’ve experienced the themes within the film. I’m not so keep on the visuals of the film as they’re not my style. However the message is strong which is something I would want to come across.
20th March 2017
To help me decide on an idea I’ve decided to look over the ideas I had during mind mapping.
Idea One: ‘Runaway Film‘
‘A child and sister runs away to the wild to start a new life. This idea would explore the concept of coming of age and starting fresh. It would capture the idea of childhood and wanting to escape a reality.’
- It would make a very good feel good film as I would make it uplifting and positive.
- I could focus a lot on cinematography and visual storytelling.
- I know a very good location that I could film at.
- It give me the opportunity to tell a story that is abstract and quirky, and present it in my style as it isn’t serious or political like my last FMP.
- I would have to make it interesting. There’s a lot of films that are similar to my idea, so I would have to think of a way to make it individual and mine.
- Weather dependent. Filming in the rain is never perfect, and I would have to travel to the location so I wouldn’t be able to reshoot.
- A threat for this film is managing to get a niche target audience. I think that the style contrasted with the story line could produce a confused target audience, but I would have to look into that further.
Idea two: ‘Feminist Art Gallery’
‘A film about a group of girls who are in an extreme gang and decided to destroy an art gallery with sexist paintings. There will be one girl that fights this, and the main message is that feminism is about doing what’s good for you and not others. For example, if you want to wear makeup you’re doing it because you like it, not to impress others. It isn’t going to be in your face feminism, but the underlying message.’
- I know a lot about the topic as I’ve researched it before.
- This was my first idea, so in my head its the most detailed plan.
- It would give me the opportunity to voice my opinion on current matters, whilst keeping my style of filmmaking.
- It might be hard to understand for outside audiences.
- I would have to find a large cast of females to act in the film, that are all strong actors as I don’t want the message to get lost within bad acting, which can happen a lot in political films.
- A threat to this film is that I miss the political mark, and it become confusing and lost.
Idea three: ‘Girl wanting to grow up’
‘This idea would follow a young girl wanting to grow up and be an adult. It would include humour but still show the pressures of being a young female.’
- As a female, the story is first hand so I can make it my own and based on truth. Therefor the film would be relatable to audiences.
- Its light hearted but still has that political undertone.
- Again the idea could give me the opportunity to voice my opinion on current matters, whilst keeping my style of filmmaking.
- I don’t know any young female actors, so I would have to spend a lot of time trying to find one/auditions.
- I would have to condense it into 4 minuets without making it too complicated.
In conclusion, I have looked over 3 of my primary ideas. I like the child running away story and the feminist one as well. I would rather do the second as I think its more true to who I am. Having said this, I don’t know if I am advanced enough to portray the story whilst using my own unique style. I will have to get feedback on this idea to make a decision.
22nd March 2017
What is a story?
Yesterday, I didn’t get to come in because I was looking round Manchester film school. Today I caught up with what they were doing yesterday. As a class they looked at why they we tell stories and how we tell them.
Today we are giving peer feedback on each others ideas. From my idea generation I came up with a brief idea.
My idea is surrounding the idea of feminism and the different views surrounding it. It’s going to show a group of girls who are in an extreme gang and decided to destroy an art gallery with sexist paintings. This story resembles the suffragettes protest.
There will be one girl it centers around that is has been pushed into it. It leads up to her having an argument with the gang leader, where she explains modern feminism and the importance of loving yourself. But the main message will be that as a female, you do what’s good for you and not others. For example, if you want to wear makeup you’re doing it because you like it, not to impress others. It isn’t going to be in your face feminism, but the underlying message.
To get the feedback, we showed everyone our ideas and people gave written feedback of all of them. This was the feedback:
- ‘I loved the message this gives, feminism is so misunderstood nowadays. How are you going to show the art gallery? Because this is what will be tricky.’
- ‘Strong political grounding which interests certain audiences. Careful not to give a negative portrayal.
- ‘The art gallery is a great way to make the story go along. This how you are going to explain modern feminism as it could come across cheesy.’
- ‘I love the sound of the characters… I would advise to include either more or less feminist connotations.’
- ‘I think the message of doing it for yourself and not others is quite important and needs to be more present in the film’
- ‘Really strong idea… bold message…Maybe include stock footage?’
- ‘Nice message… How will you fit into 4 minuets?’
- ‘How are you going to do the gallery scene?’
- ‘Explain modern feminism’
I think the feedback I got was good and positive. I decided to answer some of the feedback.
How would you explain modern feminism? Modern feminism is a tricky concept, but I think explaining it with actual examples is easier. A lot of people think feminism is outdated because we already have the vote and can go into work without discrimination. But being equal doesn’t end at being able to get a job and vote. If we just talk about the UK, there is still pink tax which is the tax which is put on female products. Having to pay for all female birth control and sanitary products, where as men get it for free and making it female responsibility. Constantly being discriminated in most industries, for example politics. Modern feminism is still relevant and important to remember.
How will you show the art gallery and the art? If I’m being honest, I haven’t got a definite plan. I would film in an open space if I couldn’t use one of my local galleries. There’s lots of halls or places I could book out in Lancaster. I have some very talented artist friends and photographers so creating work would be simple.
I think the feedback was really good. However, I’m not 100% on the idea I picked. I want to go back and look back at my original ideas and go back to one. The feedback I got pointed out some points that I need to smooth out, but I did find it useful.
Going over new ideas
Looking back at my old films, my favourite is ‘Sunset Bound.’ I think this is because it’s an uplifting film and it was one of the first films I made where I was extremely proud. Having said this, my FMP last year made me proud in a difference sense. I know the film wasn’t very good but I think the message it portrayed was powerful. I would love to combine the look and style of ‘Sunset Bound,’ with a powerful message that went with my last FMP.
From research I’ve started coming up with more ideas to help me decide on a final one.
Simons Photography Challenege – Shapes
30th April 2017
After looking back over my ideas, I have decided to go back to one of the other ones I looked at during the ideas generation stage. I have decided to use my idea of the children running away. I think this is my strongest idea and the one I can develop the most. Also, it stands out to me because I relate to it a lot, from my own childhood and watching my nephews grow up.
In my development post I will keep looking at the idea and get feedback on it. Also, I will explore how I will present the idea to create a successful final film.